Billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates in an interview on April 27 took everyone by surprise by not sharing vaccine formulas with developing nations around the world.
In an interview with Sky News, Bill Gates was asked if it would be helpful to change intellectual property law in order to enable "the recipe for these vaccines to be shared."
To this Gates answered, "No".
When asked, "Why not?"
Bill Gates explained, “There's only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety of vaccines. And so moving something that had never been done, moving a vaccine, say, from a [Johnson & Johnson] factory into a factory in India, it's novel, it's only because of our grants and expertise that can happen at all.”
"The thing that's holding things back in this case isn't intellectual property. It's not like there's some idle vaccine factory with regulatory approval that makes magically safe vaccines. You've gotta do the trials on these things. And every manufacturing process has to be looked at in a very careful way," he further said.
However, as per the Business Insider report, Gates also said that getting vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson to share vaccine formulas has already happened.
"We got all the rights from the vaccine companies," he said. "They didn't hold it back, they were participating."
Bill Gates also stated that he wasn’t surprised to see rich nations prioritising the vaccine for themselves.
“The fact that now we're vaccinating 30-year-olds in the UK and the US and we don't have all the 60-year-olds in Brazil and South Africa vaccinated, that's not fair, but within three or four months the vaccine allocation will be getting to all the countries that have the very severe epidemic,” he said.
Earlier, in 2015, Bill Gates in a TED talk
had warned of the potentially staggering death toll a worldwide pandemic could create.